When the new Gilbert library opens next month, it will be the first public library in the nation whose entire collection will be categorized without the Dewey Decimal Classification System, Maricopa County librarians say.
Instead, tens of thousands of books in the Perry Branch library will be shelved by topic, similar to the way bookstores shelve books. The demise of the century-old Dewey Decimal system is overdue, county librarians say: It's just too confusing for people to hunt down books using those long strings of numbers and letters. Dewey essentially arranges books by topic and assigns call numbers for each book.
Since the Dewey system ALREADY has the books in order by topic, wouldn't it be easier to keep the system and just add lots of signs*? Or maybe teach people to use the card catalog?
I don't know how anyone could even think about resisting this book.
Or why anyone would want to.
Just look at the cover! How adorable is it? So adorable that the first time I saw it, I wanted to take it home and sleep with it under my pillow. So adorable that I picked it up and wandered around the comic shop with it for twenty-odd minutes, even though I knew I couldn't buy it*, because a few minutes of pretend ownership were better than none at all.
Now I own it, and I am happy again**.
Lillian is the daughter of Professor Bowell, the eminent Egyptologist. One day, while the Professor is out, Lillian wants to go to Kensington. As she can't go out unchaperoned, she brings along Imhotep IV. Who is a mummy.
Brief moment for gushing about the adorablosity of it all: How did Sfar and Guibert make Imhotep IV (who, other than a bump for a nose, has no real visible facial features) a wicked hottie? Is it the cigarette holder? The top hat? The spats? Or is it his romantic nature? His melancholy? His tragic background? Whatever it is, it works. I fell in lurve with him by the end of the first page.
Mystery and murder and dream sequences and tragedy and kidnapping and a huge room full of mummies and a cameo by Queen Victoria and I loved it that no one found it strange that there was a living mummy running around London. It's bizarre and funny and touching and so, so cute.
There's a conversation going on over at Read Roger about overused words in book reviews.
One of the comments reads:
the bonkbusters comment had some merit. is part of the reason for overuse of words that the words we'd like to use are too informal for a print review? can you call a book wicked cool? way out there? can you say this one rocked?
And there you have it. I know I have a tendency to be a bit informal when I talk/write about books* (or... anything else), but, hooray. My blog, my rules. I embrace the informality. (I embrace the print reviews, too, but I think it really is the informality of blogs that attracts me. That and the instant gratification thing. And the community.)
*I also have a tendency to overuse the words 'totally', 'but' and 'thing'. All I can really say about that is I tend to write the same way I talk, and sometimes I happen to talk like a Valley Girl. I'm sure there are phrases and descriptors that I use way (oh, I say 'way' way too much, too. Also 'oh'.) too much, but it's the filler words I'm really (another one!) addicted to. Hey, it could be worse. At least I try to avoid using 'like'.
I adore the cover, right down to the tagline: AND HE'S THE GOOD GUY.
From Chapter Two:
Life in the Edgely household had always been fairly uneventful. Stephanie's mother worked in a bank, and her father owned a construction company, and she had no brothers or sisters, so the routine they had settled into was one of amiable convenience. But even so, there was always the voice in the back of her mind telling her that there should be more to life that this, more to her life than the small town of Haggard, which was tucked quietly into the east coast of Ireland. She just couldn't figure out what that something was.
Then her uncle dies and leaves almost everything to Stephanie, much to the surprise and dismay of her father's other brother. During her first night alone in her uncle's house, a man breaks in and attacks her, demanding that she give him some sort of key.
In the nick of time, the front door explodes open and in bursts Skulduggery Pleasant, a suit-wearing, Bentley-driving, walking, talking, shooting, boxing detective skeleton.
Stephanie joins him, and is introduced to a whole new world -- a world of magic and secret wars and politics, of murder and more magic and a whole new version of history. And, yes, you guessed it. Between the two of them, they have to Save The World.
Skulduggery Pleasant is an action movie of a book*. As with most action movies, I didn't really get attached to any of the characters. I LIKED them, and lots of them (especially, of course, Skulduggery) were really COOL, but I was never particularly worried about who'd live and who'd die. But remember -- it's an action movie of a book. All that really matters is whether or not it's fun.
I enjoyed Stephanie's ongoing introduction to the world-behind-our-world (within, really, we just don't notice it), the magic system is easily explained but has real potential to be flashy and fun, and I loved the Lovecraft bit, especially since the mentions of "The Faceless Ones" him on my brain anyway. The dialogue is mostly pretty snappy, with lots of fun buddy-action-movie-type squabbling, but Landy doesn't seem to go for the guffaws too much -- he goes for the 'heh' laugh, which I tend to prefer:
"Funny. I wouldn't have thought that a living skeleton would be such a skeptic. So what's our next move?"
He was silent for a bit. "Right, well, we've got to work out what we need. We've got to work out what we need, how we get it, and what we need to get to get what we need."
"I think I actually understood that," Stephanie said slowly. The car went over a bump. "No, it's gone again."
It's very violent -- you've got your torture, your multiple murders -- deaths galore, really. That said, I think there are a lot of middle-schoolers out there who'll like it a whole lot. Specifically Artemis Fowl fans, maybe Looking Glass Wars and Death Collector fans. And, wow. It looks to me like HarperC is pushing it pretty hard**. As it's apparently the first of a nine-book series, I'm not surprised.